Manchester City Council in the UK will next week hear proposals that will enshrine the principles of Martyn’s Law into future regulations to ensure the safety of all Manchester residents.
The law takes its name from Martyn Hett, who died alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack, 22 May, 2017.
Martyn’s mother, Figen Murray, has campaigned to the Government to introduce detailed legislation to improve security at all public venues in the UK.
Despite there being no current laws which require venues to adhere to the principles of Martyn’s Law, Local Authorities can still implement licensing criteria.
Manchester City Council says it will review the way in which it licences venues across the city in order to ensure high safety standards are in place across the City. Changes to best practice would be voluntary initially.
Existing licensing conditions will also be revised to incorporate specific counter-terrorism measures in order to improve safety. Venues will require a counter-terrorism plan in place, and need to ensure staff training.
Figen Murray, Martyn Hett’s mother and lead campaigner, says she is pleased that Manchester City Council are embracing the principles of Martyn’s Law. She said: “It feels like a recognition and deep respect for the bereaved families and the hundreds of injured people. I am certain that Martyn’s Law will save lives through the Council applying simple common sense.”
Councillor Nigel Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said that the tireless work carried out by Figen is a fitting tribute to not just the memory of her son Martyn, but to all of the other victims of the Manchester terror attack.
He added: “We are proud to work with Figen to lead the way on bringing in an improved culture of safety in this country, but we need the Government to take action. Only they have the power to get Martyn’s Law onto the statute books and we hope it treats her campaign as a priority.
“We can never bring back those who were cruelly taken from us, but, by making small yet significant changes we may be able to prevent future loss of life. This is an aim that we can all rally around.”
What is Martyn’s Law?
Martyn’s Law is a proposed piece of legislation that seeks to create a coherent and proportionate approach to protective security. It should apply to any place or space to which the public have access. For small venues this may simply require an additional to their already mandated fire plan, for bigger more complex venues it will require a more holistic approach.
It consists of five requirements:
1) A requirement that spaces and places to which the public have access engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training.
2) A requirement for those places to conduct vulnerability assessments of their operating places and spaces.
3) A requirement for those places to mitigate the risks created by the vulnerabilities.
4) A requirement for those places to have a counter-terrorism plan.
5) A requirement for local authorities to plan for the threat of terrorism.